Sunday, 11 December 2016

Star Trek: The Disinherited by Peter David

Star Trek: The DisinheritedStar Trek: The Disinherited by Peter David
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Disinherited goes rather dark rather quickly as several colonies are attacked by an unknown enemy, the novel opens up with the introduction of a few characters for the sole purposes of hooking you in only to sacrifice them for the narrative. That said it works very well, strangely enough it always seems that we hear about brutal events after the fact especially from the tv series but here there is no middle ground, the enemy slaughters men, women and children with no quarter given.
The Enterprise is assigned to investigate and hopefully prevent further bloodshed on these colony worlds while Lt. Uhura has been assigned to the USS Lexington for a specific mission to do a deal with the inhabitants of Rithra, a species who rely on both verbal and gesture based communications. The Enterprise encounters the raiders and doesn't fare too well against them and a young Ensign Chekov does not do himself any favours in the eyes of the Captain. Uhura on the other hand embraces the opportunity to speak to a new alien race and to aid them in protecting their young and establishing a rapport leading to perhaps membership to the Federation.
The Disinherited weaves the two plots beautifully, they both offer the reader a story with depth and pay off but when the two plots merge then the novel pays off the reader bigtime. An excellent original series adventure with particularly focus on Chekov and Uhura.

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Probe by Margaret Wander Bonanno

ProbeProbe by Margaret Wander Bonanno
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Probe has an interesting history, while Margaret is credited as the writer she didn't infact write the published novel. Seems to be Romulan level machinations going on with the publisher but for now I can only review this novel I read.
Probe is of course a story dealing with the machine/entity which visited the Earth in ST:IV in search of intelligent marine life, this novel gives us a huge amount of backstory to this enigmatic creation in terms of its genesis, it's mission and interactions with aliens both known and unknown. We also get a very compelling plot line which deals with the Romulans holding out a potential hand of friendship (after the death of the Praetor) but of course nothing is what it seems.
I came away from this novel totally happy with the Probe storyline, in seems to fit with what little we were offered from the movie and of course does clearly indicate that the Federation and Empires are very very small and almost insignificant when viewed in terms of a million plus years of galaxy wide civilisations birth and deaths. The Romulan subplot has plenty of depth and complexity to the point where it could have been a standalone story by itself but the merging of two of the aspects through music was most satisfying in terms of scifi storytelling.
A highly recommended read for those looking for more on the Probe or just a fan of the devious Romulan Empire but with enough heart to avoid some of the cliches.

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Faces of Fire by Michael Jan Friedman

Faces of FireFaces of Fire by Michael Jan Friedman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Faces of Fire is certainly a Star Trek novels that pays off if you are familiar with the events of Star Trek II & III as it contains the seeds of that story. On the Federation colony of Beta Canzandia III a research project into terraforming in ongoing with mixed results with integrating new strains of plant life into a methodology for generating oxygen in a new ecosystem. One of the lead scientists is Dr Carol Marcus who along with her son David is going to be paid a visit by the Enterprise who is due for a routine audit and medical screenings, Spock will be staying behind to offer some short term assistance. Unbeknown to both the colony and Starfleet a faction within the Klingon Empire has also heard of the project and sees it as a potential weapon against the Empire and Klingons tend to do only one thing when they believe they are threatened.
Faces of Fire was an entertaining look at a Carol Marcus who we knew little about from the movies, we also begin to understand why David was so anti-starfleet and of course at least one of the Klingons will be playing a pivotal role many years later when Genesis comes to fruition.
I probably found the secondary story more interesting though, Kirk and the Enterprise dealing with a culture fractured by deeply held religious beliefs and on the verge of civil war, the usual Federation diplomatic fun and games add spice but a more satisfying story then the Marcus one.
Faces of Fire is certainly worth a read if you want more of the Marcus backstory but that apart a solid story of original series Star Trek with some good intrigue.


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